The following are basic facts about Operations Research: • It is a science-based approach to analyzing problems and decision

situations to aid solving such problems and decision-making. It is therefore a practical activity, although based on the theoretical construction and analysis. • It is an approach and an aid to problem-solving and decision-making. • Its distinctive approach is facts-finding and modeling. • It examines functional relations (i.e. functions of a system and their related components) from a system overview. • It utilizes interdisciplinary mixed-team approach to solving management problems. • It adopts the planned approach (updated scientific method which reflects technological advancement as the computer) to management problems. • It helps to discover new problems as one problem is being solved. O.R. as an adaptation of the Scientific Approach Operations Research is most fundamentally science-based. It is so by adoption and adapting the scientific approach in analyzing operational decision problems. (These are problems involved in carrying out operations). The way operations research is the adoption and adaptation of the scientific approach is as follows: i. Definition of Problem This involves the development of a clear and concise statement of the problem at hand. This gives direction and meaning to other steps. In defining the problem, it is important that the whole system be examined critically in order to recognize all the areas that could be affected by any decision taking. It is essential to examine the symptoms and true causes of the problem when defining the issue. Note that when the problem is difficult to qualify, it may be necessary to develop specific and measurable objectives that may not solve the real problem.

It may also be a logical approach or a functional approach which does not require solving a mathematical equation. iii. It may require solving some mathematical equations for optimal decisions as in calculus or linear programming models. 0 y ≥ . Construction of a Model This step involves the construction of a suitable model (usually mathematical). Minimize: C = 4x + 5y Subject to: 6 x + 3y ≥ x+y≥3 x .g. If the model can adequately predict the effect of the changes in the system. such as in queuing theory. It might be of a functional nature as in linear programming or have a logical structure as in simulation and algorithms. Testing the Model and its Solution This involves determining the accuracy or the completeness of the data used in the model because inaccurate data leads to inaccurate solutions. however simple it may be. which is a representation of the problem at hand.ii. . v. E. iv. Data Collection It involves obtaining quantitative data either from existing records or a new survey that fits well into the constructed model of the problem. The optimal solution is then determined by some criteria. Developing a Solution This involves the manipulation of the model to arrive at the best (optimal) solution to the problem. which is a linear programming model. it is acceptable.

which is carried out by the personnel already working in the area and not the Operations Research team. vii. Controls are therefore established so that changes that make a significant difference in solution are recognized and taken into account. Business areas where Operations Research is applicable includes: i. In most cases. . Transport schedules. Implementation of Model This is the process of incorporating the solution into the system. The solution to the problem has to be translated to a set of operating instructions which can be handled by the personnel involved. subject to cost constraints and to formulation of rules or procedures for making these operating decisions. Role of Operations Research in Business Operations Research help to determines the information requirements that enable the best decisions to be made. The implication of these actions or changes must be determined and analyzed before results are implemented. iii. ii. a solution to a problem will result in a kind of action or change in the organization. Product mix. Stock re-ordering policies. It is also concern with improving the day-to-day efficiency of a company’s operation.vi. This analysis (sensitivity analysis) determines how much the solution changes if there were changes in model or in the input data. Interpretation of the Results/Establishment of Controls This involves determining the implication of the solutions to the system.

Flow Chart Showing the Stages in Operations Research Problem Definition Model Construction Input Data Acquisition Solution Derivation Testing of Model and Solution Analyzing Results/Establishment of Control Implementation of Results .

multiple servers NO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Arrival Time Service Start Service End .OPERATIONAL RESEARCH MODULES (QUEUING THEORY) Type of queuing: First-IN-first-OUT Data collector name: Bank name: Counter no: Single queue.

OPERATIONAL RESEARCH MODULES (QUEUING THEORY) Type of queuing: Last-IN-first-OUT Data collector name: Bank name: Counter no: Single queue. multiple servers NO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Arrival Time Service Start Service End .

OPERATIONAL RESEARCH MODULES (QUEUING THEORY) Type of queuing: First-IN-first-OUT Data collector name: Bank name: Counter no: Multiple queue. multiple servers NO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Arrival Time Service Start Service End .

OPERATIONAL RESEARCH MODULES (QUEUING THEORY) Type of queuing: Last-IN-first-OUT Data collector name: Bank name: Counter no: Multiple queue. multiple servers NO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Arrival Time Service Start Service End .